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Can Bladder Cancer Be Prevented?

There is no sure way to prevent bladder cancer. Some risk factors, like age, sex, race, and family history can’t be controlled. But there might be things you can do that could help lower your risk.

Don’t smoke

Smoking is thought to cause about half of all bladder cancers. (This includes any type of smoking -- cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. ) If you're thinking about quitting smoking and need help, call the American Cancer Society for information and support at 1-800-227-2345.

Limit exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace

Workers in industries that use certain organic chemicals have a higher risk of bladder cancer. Workplaces where these chemicals are commonly used include the rubber, leather, printing materials, textiles, and paint industries. If you work in a place where you might be exposed to such chemicals, be sure to follow good work safety practices.

Some chemicals found in certain hair dyes might also increase risk, so it’s important for hairdressers and barbers who are exposed to these products regularly to use them safely. (Most studies have not found that personal use of hair dyes increases bladder cancer risk.) For more on this, see Hair Dyes.

Some research has suggested that people exposed to diesel fumes in the workplace might also have a higher risk of bladder cancer (as well as some other cancers), so limiting this exposure might be helpful.

Drink plenty of liquids

There's evidence that drinking a lot of fluids – mainly water – might lower a person’s risk of bladder cancer.

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables

Some studies have suggested that a diet high in fruits and vegetables might help protect against bladder cancer, but other studies have not found this. Still, eating a healthy diet has been shown to have many benefits, including lowering the risk of some other types of cancer.

Studies to date have not found that any vitamins or supplements help prevent bladder cancer. In fact, beta-carotene supplements have been found to slightly increase risk.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

American Cancer Society. Facts & Figures 2018. American Cancer Society. Atlanta, Ga. 2018.

Letašiová S, Medvedová A, Šovcíková A, et al. Bladder cancer, a review of the environmental risk factors. Environ Health. 2012;11 Suppl 1:S11.  

Park SJ, Myung SK, Lee Y, Lee YJ. Effects of Vitamin and Antioxidant Supplements in Prevention of Bladder Cancer: a Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. J Korean Med Sci. 2017;32(4):628-635.

Last Revised: January 30, 2019

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